Russell Westbrook, Los Angeles Lakers
Injured Russell Westbrook #0 of the Los Angeles Lakers cheers on his team during their game Golden State Warriors in the first half at Chase Center on April 07, 2022 in San Francisco, California. Ezra Shaw/Getty Images


  • Russell Westbrook has high hopes for himself and the Lakers this season
  • Fans were skeptical of his addition when the Buddy Hield deal was possible
  • Westbrook also addressed the multiple trade rumors surrounding him

Russell Westbrook has been the subject of constant trade rumors this offseason for the Los Angeles Lakers due to last season's disastrous outing, but the point guard is not letting any of that get to him.

On the topic of the feeling of being wanted, Westbrook is keeping his focus only on his performance and his role.

"I need to just do my job. Whether I'm wanted or not doesn't really matter. I think the most important thing is that I show up for work and I do the job like I've always done it: Be professional and go out and play my ass off and compete," Westbrook said as quoted by ESPN.

Fans and observers were quick to pan the Lakers for trading a big chunk of their roster depth for a then-32-year-old Westbrook when they could have gotten more important pieces for their possible championship run.

Former Lakers forward Kyle Kuzma revealed in September of last year that he was set on becoming a member of the Sacramento Kings as part of a trade that would have netted Buddy Hield.

It was a big revelation at the time since the Lakers were in dire need of shooting at the guard spot since LeBron James' current style of play is to surround himself with a ton of shooters while he takes on the playmaker role.

The Lakers unceremoniously missed the playoffs altogether after putting together a dismal 33-49 record–giving them the 11th seed in a highly competitive Western Conference.

Westbrook was heavily booed by even their hometown fans and it came to a point that the "Westbrick" nickname had affected him and his family personally.

But with his reputation as a hard-nosed basketball player that led the league in triple-doubles for quite some time, Westbrook's confidence never took a hit.

"Confidence is not something I lack. Yes, there were times last season that I wanted to play better–that I should've played better–but my confidence never wavers... That was the most difficult thing -- being booed in the arena and having my kids there," Westbrook revealed.

The nine-time NBA All-Star has his plate full going into this season, and when asked about how he thinks he will fare this season, the UCLA product had this to say.

"I feel even more prepared than I was in years past. That's what I'm looking forward to the most... In my mind, no, but... I guess in other people's minds? Yeah, I guess it might be surprising to other people."

Russell Westbrook, Steph Curry
Los Angeles Lakers guard Russell Westbrook and Golden State Warriors' Stephen Curry during a 2021-22 regular NBA season game. Getty Images/Kevork Djansezian